Overwatch: The Heroes Who Almost Made It Into the Game

Great games don't happen overnight. Sometimes, jetpack cats don't happen at all.

While they say you should never learn how the sausage is made, the Overwatch team has decided to release some screenshots and footage from the early days of the game’s development. 

While there are plenty of hidden gems to be found in the game’s concept builds, the internet has quickly latched on to jetpack cat. 

Here’s a picture:

Yes, it seems that Blizzard once became quite obsessed with the idea of hooking some kind of animal up to a jet-propelled flying device. While we can hardly fault them for their efforts in that regard, it does seem a bit cruel that they would inform millions of Overwatch players that they once had the chance to play as a cat that could fly. There’s always a possibility that such a hero could be added to the game, but we’re not quite sure how it would fit into the theme of the game’s current roster. 

Ad – content continues below

Other concept art revealed during the presentation showcases some early level designs – some of which could very well still make it into the game at some point – and a far larger roster of characters from a time when the Overwatch team seemed interested in having a character represent every specialized class they can come up with. While some of those characters, like Symmetra, ended up making it to the main roster, others like the sword-wielding McCloud were clearly replaced by heroes like Reinhardt. 

There was also a hockey player, an alien, and a hero inside of a mech suit:

 

Elsewhere, the released Overwatch test footage showcases some very, very rough early gameplay. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yH0GsOKZHMQ

It’s quite fascinating to see how even the simplest of concepts like the trajectory of Hanzo’s arrows and the movement of Tracer had to be rigorously accounted for early on. The best footage, however, are the clips in which we see a very early – but still recognizable – build of Overwatch being roughly played by the development team. It’s especially amusing to watch a floating pile of parts referred to as Bastion shamble his way onto the battlefield.

Mostly, though, we’re just grateful that Blizzard was confident enough to show what a multi-million dollar project looked like at its conceptual roughest. It certainly helps you appreciate just how much work goes into a game from the point those initial ideas are being tossed around. Even when you can see the game coming together, it’s clear just how much work there is left to be done on the final product. 

We’ll leave you with a few more screenshots from Overwatch‘s earliest stages of playability. 

Ad – content continues below